In case you did not know, September is considered Sickle Cell Awareness Month. You probably do not know too much about Sickle Cell Disease because it’s not as common as other diseases that you are most likely aware of such as heart or pulmonary disease but it is just as severe to human health and at worst, can be fatal.
What is Sickle Cell?
Sickle-cell is a group of blood disorders. The most common type is known as sickle cell anemia. It results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin found in red blood cells. This leads to a rigid, sickle-like (or shaped like a C) shape under certain circumstances. Problems in sickle cell disease typically begin around 5 to 6 months of age. Complications of sickle cell anemia are a result of sickle cells blocking blood flow to specific organs, and include stroke, acute chest syndrome (a condition that lowers the level of oxygen in the blood), organ damage, other disabilities, and in some cases premature death.
Sickle-cell disease occurs when a person inherits two abnormal copies of the hemoglobin gene, one from each parent. An attack can be set off by temperature changes, stress, dehydration, and high altitude. A person with a single abnormal copy does not usually have symptoms and is said to have sickle cell trait. Such people are also referred to as carriers. Diagnosis is by a blood test.
The care of people with sickle-cell disease may include infection prevention high fluid intake and pain medication. Other measures may include blood transfusions.
Sickle cell anemia is more common in certain ethnic groups, including; African Americans and Hispanics.
Meet my absolutely beautiful best friend Tamara.
( This picture and post was written by me in September 2015 when she completed her very first 5K held by The Otis Uduebor Sickle Cell Foundation. I couldn’t have been MOST proud of her.)
My BEST friend since elementary school Tamara @tsrowe915 ….She has battled sickle cell anemia her whole life at birth. I’ve watched her go in and out of the hospital. I’ve watched her suffer through chest pain, headaches, low oxygen, blood transfusions, kidney failure, IVs, multiple trips to the emergency room and more. I remember when the doctor told her she wouldn’t even live past the age of 10 yrs old when we were younger. Here she is 31 yrs old. Still fighting. Still strong and by the grace of God she is still HERE!! I’m so proud of her today because she thought she wouldn’t make it through this 5K. But she did! Sometimes I don’t think this woman knows how strong, beautiful, and courageous she is! Mind you this is the same lady that will join me at the gym despite her health. No excuses! She does not allow this disease to bring her down, she will not allow people to treat her any differently then the most healthiest person. She has always known her limits. Talk about a woman so beautiful inside and outside. I want to express how VERY proud we all are of her. And Tam if you read this (which you better lol) I love you Bestie!! Good job today! And you know I’m always here whenever you need me!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxo. This month is #sicklecellawareness month. I’m glad I got to support this cause. If you don’t know what sickle cell is, please research it and definitely support the cause to hopefully one day there will be a cure.
I was looking forward to the Annual Sickle Cell 5K this year as I didn’t get to partake last year which is normally held by The Otis Uduebor Sickle Cell Foundation http://www.theotisfoundation.org/ but they have decided to cancel this year and come back stronger next year! It’s a MUST that I reach out to them to see if ANY assistance is needed for this event next year as it always seemed to attract a fun, informative, supportive, and healthy environment for loved ones, family, and friends who have the disease or supporting someone they know who have/had the disease. I truly
would love to be a part of this being a continuous Awareness event.
Stay Informed Everyone!